Meta’s new ad system addresses allegations that it enabled housing discrimination

Meta logo on blue background
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Meta’s launching a new ad distribution system in the US as part of the settlement it reached with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) last year. In an announcement on its site, Meta says its new Variance Reduction System (VRS) will create a more “equitable distribution of ads” on the company’s platforms, addressing claims that the platform propagated housing discrimination by letting advertisers exclude protected groups from their marketing campaigns.

Meta has contended with these kinds of accusations for years, dating back to a 2016 report from ProPublica that reveals how advertisers could shut out users based on their race.

Things came to a head when the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) filed a lawsuit against the…

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